tv [untitled] May 15, 2014 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT
contributions have brought to the sunshine task force. so, i'll stop there. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> next up. looks like todd david. >> good afternoon, commissioners yee and tang. my name is todd david and i am reapplying to be on the sunshine ordinance task force. i want to start by kind of reiterating a couple things that member hyland said. i don't think there is anyone more disappointed that chair grant is not continuing on as i am. it's really been a pleasure working with chair grant and i'm really going to miss her. i think she's been really great and also -- i also want to say member nee has been an amazing guide and his institutional knowledge and memory for the task force has been just phenomenal. i can't say i'm always in agreement with him, but i find his knowledge and being able to
reference, you know, specific areas of the sunshine ordinance has really been -- it's going to be a big loss to the task force to not have him there. so, i wanted to start with those two things. i think one of the things that i feel that i bring to the task force that maybe is different than other people is that i'm a parent of three young children and it's a different point of view than a lot of other members have. i'm not sure how many of the other task force members have children of elementary school age and of kindergarten age. so, a lot of times when issues come before the task force, i can think of things specifically around rec and park where there is issues around the appropriate disclosure or what personal information should be redacted or not. you know, i was kind of wondering, well, if my child find out before i sign my child up for rec and park summer camp, is that information --
should that be clarified, sign up for rec and park summer camp, does that information mean it should be to the public? and -- it should be made available to the public? this is an issue i think speaks to something that supervisor tang has been asking about, about how does the city attorney's advice and how do i feel about the city attorney's advice. the city attorney has made it, to my mind, fairly clear that the brown act calls for that it is okay to redact public information, private information that is sent to our supervisors. the sunshine ordinance seems to maybe say something other that is not necessarily in compliance. and i think i should skip to one of the big issues we as a task force struggle with and tackle all the time is that how does the public, how do supervisors, how do department heads deal with different
advice that they're getting from the city attorney, from the sunshine ordinance task force, from ethics. and i think that it would really be of value to the public and to our -- and to our supervisors and to our department heads if there is a way we can resolve these conflicts because i think that there's an expectation of certain things from members of the public and then there's expectations of supervisors and the advice that those are getting can be in conflict with each other. so, how do we resolve that so that everyone knows what it is that we should be able to access as public information? so, i think that that's, you know, an issue that i'm very interested in trying to continue to tackle as a member of the task force. as i did mention, i do have three young children and i know that some questions have come up around certainly a couple
more meeting i [speaker not understood] i missed. i want to address that up front. one meeting i missed, i was actually hospitalized for surgery. another meeting i was out of town on business, which was very unusual. and then as i'm sure supervisor yee can attest to, when you do have young children, they do get sick from time to time. and i do co-parent with my wife and i do not feel that the responsibility that if a child is sick should absolutely have to fall to my wife. and, so, hopefully going forward i would like to do a better job of attending more regularly [speaker not understood]. that being said, if a child is sick, i am not going to -- i do prioritize my family. and, so, but i do -- i think both of you know that i take my responsibilities of the work that i do and especially of the volunteer work i do in the community very, very seriously and i'm a very hard worker and
i do not take absentees to the task force readily. i don't do that lightly. so, i'm happy to answer any questions if you have any. >> yeah, so, yeah, i did have a question about your attendance. i appreciate you being a parent of children and i know they get sick a lot. i guess as you move forward -- i'm sorry, how old are your kid now? >> 12, 9 and 6. >> and i assume usually when they're younger they get sick a lot more. >> um-hm. >> so, do you anticipate, i guess, as you move forward that the number of times that you have to take off because of those situations would be, again, a little bit less --
>> yes. i also want to say that at the beginning -- when the task force, we didn't meet for a couple months. then we kind of were shifting around dates. there were dates we would take votes. could people make that meeting, could we not. it wasn't an easy predictability when regular meetings would be scheduled. as every member said, sometimes we met twice a month. on top of that you have your subcommittee meetings. so, there were some months where i was at three meetings a month in a row, then i might have had to miss a regularly scheduled task force meeting that was actually changed from its regular scheduled date to another date because people said, i'm going to be out of town that week and that that -- the week that was changed to happened to be a date that i wasn't able to make it. so, there's been some shifting of dates and there hasn't been able to be as predictable also. it is certainly my 100% intention to be at every task force meeting, you know.
with that, that is 100% my intention. can i predict what the future is going to bring? no, but that is something that i will absolutely -- will make a much -- i mean, i'll make a strong effort to be at as many meetings as possible. >> okay. my questioning wasn't about your intentions. it was more, you know, all of us have things we deal with and if it's something we have to deal with, that's predictable you have to deal with. you might have to make a decision whether, you know, you're going to be able to be fully participating or not. so, that was really all -- >> i plan to fully participate. i think one of the other things is that if you look at a lot of events that i'm at, a lot of times i'm the one -- i'm the independent thinker on the task force.
i'm the one dissenting vote. i think in a lot of ways it's easy to be a member of the task force and you kind of -- or i'm sure you experience it as a member of the board of supervisors. you get in this kind of group think and as an independent, i really try to think independently about how each individual case, you know -- the merits of it. and, so, i am committed to the task force. i apologize for it. i wish i had a better attendance record than i did. i fully admit that has not been ideal. and going forward i will make a stronger effort. i don't feel it was a lack of effort. it happened to be a set of odd circumstances this past year that [speaker not understood]. >> okay, thank you. anything else? >> thank you. >> sure. >> last applicant, rodman joseph martin.
>> i'm the last one. good afternoon, supervisors. ~ yee and tang. thanks for having me here. my name is rodman martin. a little bit about myself. i'm thankful to participate in this and considering me. i've lived in san francisco now for about four years. i grew up in the bay area, went to cal poly for undergrad and to santa clara law school. i've now been practicing workers' compensation for five years. we represent the injured worker. they get hurt, they're having difficulty obtaining benefits, we get a court hearing to solve that. i [speaker not understood] san francisco and oakland. i volunteer at the asian law caucus on columbus and jackson and member of the san francisco bar and bar of oakland. i've been wanting to get involved in participating in local government for sometime. i think it would be rewarding and i think a lot of people who
come up here, my practical skills as a lawyer might [speaker not understood] in a good way on this task force. [speaker not understood] i meet with individual clients, individual people who feel a grieved, who feel like no one is listening to them, who feel like people aren't giving them the time of day and i get them through that. so, from what i understand, and this has been great listening to everyone come up here and discuss the task force, it's a crash course for it. that might be one of the issues that's going on when people file, you know, multiple task force actions and consolidation, a one person said, might be a way to do that. we also are involved in document production at our law firm, [speaker not understood] records as the first person said. i think that would help. my knowledge about that might help as well. i do believe that transparency
in government is important. i know the purpose of the task force. i know that the meeting hours can be long. one of the first things i looked at were the meeting hours and i said, oh, must go like 7:00 or 8:00, 11:30. i'm single. i'm fortunate enough to have a job where i can say i'm leaving for the day and no one asks me any questions. so, if i tell them i have a meeting for the task force, i'm out. i'm out of the office, and i'm here. so, that will not be an issue for me. i think it sounds like the nuts and bolts of getting the task force to work efficiently and wading through what the actual issue is is important. i think, again, myself as a lawyer, i think you need explain things to people in a non-legalese bureaucratic government code way and they
might under a little better about what's going on. mediation sounds like a great way to kind of take care of thing before they're a huge problem. i think that could help out a lot of people here have said already. the backlog i think is the biggest, it sound like, again, this is just from hearing what people talked about today. sounds like a huge issue. once that's cleared, it should be a priority, would be immensely helpful. and that's it. >> okay. okay, thank you very much. okay, public comments. i have a number of cards here. first person is tom [speaker not understood]. if there are other public commentses, go ahead and line up over here. hello, supervisors tang and
yee. tom timprano, [speaker not understood] harvey milk lgbt democratic club. [speaker not understood] myself sent on behalf of lee hepner in support of his appointment to the sunshine task force. so, expounding the harvey milk club 40 years ago, the club has advocated to have lgbt representation at all levels of city government from the board of supervisors to city commissions and task forces, task forces, excuse me. lee's outstanding leadership at our club's executive board for the past two years has demonstrated exactly the sort of leadership and outgoingness that this task force needs from lgbt voices. during his multiple terms, he has showed commitment to public process, routinely redthving the club at board meetings and commission hearings. he's also demonstrated a
soundness of judgment and ability to listen to all side of an argument which are traits that some would say are a rarity. [speaker not understood]. i hope eula point lee to the sunshine task force so he can be as much of an asset to this task force as he has been to our club. ~ you'll appoint efficient i would also like to encourage you to appoint lee wolf. two years ago we wrote a letter requesting that he be appoint and had he we hope now you will follow-up on that request of ours and many other member of the community. thank you. good afternoon, chair yee and member tang. i'm patrick [speaker not understood]. here on my own time. i'm speaking in support of bruce wolfe who appears to be the only disabled applicant again, just as he was in 2012. mr. wolf's attendance record
was spotless the entire time he served on the task force. i am here to speak against todd david. as you can see from the handout, mr. david has missed 46% of absences from the last 13 meetings and as david campos said, we are considering reappointment and evaluating incumbents. the question is are they doing their job? mr. david is not. he's been absent nearly 50% of the time. with all due respect to supervisor tang, [speaker not understood] as a lawyer, the issue with disagreements to the city attorney's interpretation of the ordinance, vis-a-vis the city charter is a red herring. first, interpretations of roberts rules of order is hard to get [speaker not understood]. second, the city has settled
over 21 million in payments paid out over the last six years to settle various lawsuits involving discrimination and wrongful termination that involved a quote-unquote advice from the city attorney [speaker not understood] proved to be mistaken. even though the city attorney [speaker not understood] makes mistakes in interpretation of the law. third, consider doing contract talks that just concluded, local 21 ha reported to our member that they defeated the proposal that was requested to prohibit city employees from filing discrimination complaints under local, state, and federal law. the [inaudible]. >> thank you. [inaudible]. >> thank you very much.
♪ he'll do fine make it real fine he's on the hunt he's work for task force you and josh wolf will do shine the sunshine task force fine he's on the hunt he'll work so good and he'll be [speaker not understood] he'll make it real fine he's on a hunt and he'll work for you you know that i would be untrue you know that i would be a liar if i was to say to you these applicants task force couldn't get much higher come on city light the task force fire come on city light the task force fire gonna set the night on fire
[speaker not understood] and you're gonna sunlight even task force might even retire come on city light the task force fire come on city light the task force fire gonna set the night on fire -- task force fire ♪ make it happen thank you. (applause) good afternoon. my name is jeffery king. i am a first amendment lawyer specializing in [speaker not understood] government matters. i am a journalist who is an enthusiastic and frequent utilizer of the california public records act and the san francisco sunshine ordinance. a huge part of [speaker not understood] which includes open government matters and, of course, i'm here in my capacity as the freedom of information
committee, [speaker not understood] society of professional journalists which i served since 2011. and i'm here to voice the committee of strong support or strongest support of mark rumold. as you heard from mark, he is an attorney with the electronic frontier foundation, a position that he has held for the past four years a a legal fellow and now staff attorney. what he did not tell you is that he was not only qualified for this position. he's one of the leading open government experts in this country. he would serve the task force extremely well. he was unanimously recommended for this position by the freedom of information committee and i would urge you to, to accept his -- our nomination of mark for this role. thank you. ~ >> thank you.
good afternoon, supervisors. my name is thomas peel. i'm an investigative reporter and u.c. berkeley lecturer. i am mr. king's co-chair on the sunshine ordinance task force and i am asking you to approve the nomination of ali winston to the journalist seat on the task force. mr. winston [speaker not understood]. he is an outstanding journalist. unanimously approved by the sunshine ordinance task force for this position. journalistses use freedom of information laws all the time. he is deeply -- has a deep understanding of -- excuse me. the ordinance public records act, freedom of information act and the brown act. he would be a passionate and fair advocate to the northern california journalist community.
i'll also say the most important tool a journalist brings to work every day is their common sense. and i think mr. winston's common sense and his outside perspective a a task force minutiae would help in its reform and i would ask you to please move his nomination forward. thank you. >> thank you. good afternoon, supervisors. i'm richard nee, member and past chairman of the sunshine ordinance task force. you have an opportunity today to begin the process of filling all 11 seats on the task force and i would strongly urge that you do so. with two vacancies on the task force over the past couple years, it takes only four members, four absences to kill a quorum, and believe me, it's happened. that number rose up to 6, that threshold goes up to 6 when
there is full membership on the task force. and that, by the way, does go to the efficiency of the task force. i don't have time to go into the detail of it now, but i will tell you that when it comes to efficiency, i will match the task force's record against that of anybody in this city, any other body in this city. you need to appoint somebody who is physically disabled. you have that in bruce wolfe who has an outstanding record on the task force. particularly as the information technology systems of this city are undergoing renovation, you need tech savvy people. you have mr. wolfe, mr. rumold and vice-chair fischer who can meet that criterion. i am stepping aside because after 12 years it is time to allow in some new energy and new ideas.
you have that -- you have that in ali winston. i am on the spj society of professional journalists freedom of information committee, and i fully support the nominations of mr. winston and mr. rumold to those seats. thank you. kerry brockton, member of the board of league of women voters. i'm speaking now as a citizen of san francisco. i've also spoken quite a bit about maintaining diversity in san francisco and in our city government. the charter also encourages this as well as the best government practices. what i have observed today in sitting through this particular
rules committee agenda item is that out of the 13 candidates for the 11 seats you have 10 candidates who are white male. i know diversity is lacking in the city of san francisco now, but i don't think we've come to that. where our task force would be predominantly white men. while there is some representation of the lgbt community and only one candidate who would represent the disabled community, i strongly encourage you to continue outreach for this task force into all the communities so that we have a broad spectrum of asian representatives, of african-american as well as latino participants in the sunshine task force.
i think it's essential that we make sure that the beautiful pro sake of our city is represented on all boards and commissionses here in city government. thank you. ~ mosaic >> next speaker. hi, supervisors, my name is patrick connors and i am a local writer, activist, political junky. i've been a resident in san francisco since '95 and i've been living in district 5 with my husband since start of the century. so, i'm here to speak on behalf of my colleague lee hepner. i've worked with and observed lee in his capacity on the board, as a board member of the harvey milk democratic club. he's one of the most knowledgeable and professional
members of the board. lee clearly exhibits a passion for open, honest, and ethical city government. in his capacity in the club as well as in his career as a civil rights attorney. lee has experience managing issues and conflicts among club members as well as with members of the general public that interact with the organization. he would be a valuable addition to any city commission, especially the sunshine ordinance task force. san francisco needs people like lee hepner involved in local government and i hope you will please give his interest consideration and appoint him. thank you.
i'm bruce board man. i'm here to check on my supervisor, supervisor yee and also close by, supervisor tang. i'm in west portal. i'm delighted to see the roster of good candidates here before the supervisor for thea key jobs. i want to make a couple remarks. i was largely responsible for the original ordinance 20 years ago, the bay guardian and spj put it through. and i was also involved as a leader in the movement to close the loopholes in an initiative that was passed by a strong majority of the board of supervisors. i was also on the task force for 10 years and when willie brown became mayor, he he spent a lot of time trying to kick me
off the task force for political reasons. i took the position that i would not leave the task force until lee hepner was mayor and lee became mayor and i left the task force. the reason i did that was i wanted to help establish the principle that the city hall people could not kick people off the task force and that is why when we wrote the original ordinance we mandated that the society of professional journalists and league of women voters would have seats from their representatives on the task force because these were groups that were dedicated over a long period of time to freedom of information and the task force and these kind of issues. that's why they're there, and that's why it's important that you recognize this principle -- i'm sorry, i did want to mention their names. mark rumold and ali winston and alicia washburn. i hope you will put them in and
reestablish that principle right now in this [inaudible]. also, i'd like to say a word for josh wolfe [inaudible]. good afternoon, supervisors. i'm peter war field, executive director of library users association and i have had a long experience with the sunshine task force many years, at least 10, the first three complaints were passed successfully and our last one march 5th went with a unanimous vote. unfortunately just 6 to nothing on march 5th and there is one in the works. there is a lot of problem with the sunshine task force and
unfortunately the supervisors are at the base of some of them and basically a lack of support for the previous excellent sunshine task force. and we now have every member of the sunshine task force serving without having basically after their seats have expired. there are a number of points to be made. first of all, seats 1 through 5 each have a single applicant and we certainly endorse those folks being appointed or reappointed as the case may be. in the case of the remaining applicants of which presumably you would need to cut out one more or two, rather, i can only say that david pilpel has had a long history of doing everything he can against the public interest and when he says he's got a [speaker not understood], i'm sure that's probably correct and it's probably because he is impervious to sympathy for the public.